Coach Chip Kelly said Colin Kaepernick will not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Broncos, but the hope is to have the 49ers quarterback practice in full next week and play against the Packers on Aug. 26.
Kaepernick did some light throwing on a side field Wednesday as he works his way back from muscle fatigue in his right shoulder. He gave his arm a more rigorous workout Thursday, making approximately 45 throws – including 19 from 25 yards out – to an equipment manager.
As has been the case over the past week, he did not attempt any throws during formal drills. When he took snaps in team sessions, it was on running plays.
“In talking to him, he says he feels really good about it,” Kelly said. “But we don’t want to throw him back out there and have a setback right now.”
Kelly said the plan is for newly acquired Christian Ponder to play against Denver on Saturday. The first two quarterbacks to play will be Blaine Gabbert and rookie Jeff Driskel.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, likely will rejoin practice when the 49ers return to Santa Clara.
“He’s involved in every discussion,” Kelly said. “It’s not like we’re telling him what to do because he’s the one who ultimately knows how he feels. But it’s like a lot of times when you have a muscle injury, all of a sudden, ‘Hey, I feel great,’ and then all of a sudden you hear the guy reinjures it because they pushed themselves a little bit too far. So we want to err on the side of caution and make sure that he’s 100 percent as we get rolling here.”
Et cetera – Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch was wearing sunglasses Thursday after getting poked in the eye during Wednesday’s joint practice with the Broncos. Lynch, who was involved in a brief melee Wednesday, did not practice Thursday. Several more skirmishes broke out in Thursday’s joint session.
▪ Wide receivers Bruce Ellington (ankle) and DeAndre Smelter (hamstring) did not practice. Ellington suffered the injury during last Sunday’s game against Houston. Smelter has not practiced in full for more than a week. He dealt with a hamstring injury in the spring, too.
▪ Arik Armstead (shoulder) did not practice but went through a conditioning session with the team’s strength coach. That signals he will return to practice soon.